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Military Decisionmaking Process

Brief presentation on MDMP and applications for OC/Ts at Fort Hood, TX - January 2013

Douglas Fullerton

on 27 December 2015

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Transcript of Military Decisionmaking Process

A brief presentation describing
the process and applications Military Decisionmaking Process
(MDMP) OVERVIEW PROCESS APPLICATIONS Army Planning Methodologies MDMP The military decisionmaking process is an iterative planning methodology to understand the situation and mission, develop a course of action, and produce an operation order or plan. Seven step process, (can be) very detailed, very involved, and very resource and manpower intensive.

Many inputs, many outputs, many products, many meetings, sub-meetings, brain storming, and war gaming. Complex battlefield force on force mission
Ambiguous peace keeping or stability mission in urban environment
Battalion Christmas Party...really
Directed movement and occupation (CONUS or OCONUS)
Aviation operations and ground operations Army Design Methodology

The Military Decisionmaking Process (MDMP)

Troop Leading Procedures (TLP) The Army Design Methodology is a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking to understand, visualize, and describe unfamiliar problems and approaches to solving them.



Describe Frame the operational environment, frame the problem, develop an approach Commander's intent, operational approach serves as link between conceptual and detailed planning, continue to update running estimates Develop and issue commander's guidance, mission statement, assess, and reframe if necessary Troop leading procedures are a dynamic process used by small-unit leaders to analyze a mission, develop a plan, and prepare for an operation. 1. Received the mission
2. Issue a warning order
3. Make a tentative plan
4. Initiate movement
5. Conduct reconnaissance
6. Complete the plan
7. Issue the order
8. Supervise and refine the plan 1 - Receipt of mission
2 - Mission analysis
3 - Course of action development
4 - Course of action analysis
5 - Course of action comparison
6 - Course of action approval
7 - Orders production, dissemination, and transition How the process progresses: REFERENCES Source Doctrine

Additional Presentations

Other Resources

Photos ADP 3-0
ADP 5-0
ADRP 5-0
FM 5-0 (old manual, but invaluable detailed info) Various personal photos NTC Master Planning and Preparation Slide Deck

Brigade Command and Battle Staff Training DETAILED MDMP What the process CAN be: Seven Steps: Step 2: Mission Analysis Step 3: Course of Action Development Step 4: Course of Action Analysis and War-Gaming Step 5: Course of Action Comparison Parallel Planning at Different Levels TIME CONSTRAINED
ENVIRONMENT The RDSP is a decisionmaking and synchronization technique that commanders and staffs commonly use during execution. Before a unit can effectively conduct planning in a time-constrained environment, it must master the steps in the full MDMP. Rapid Decisionmaking and Synchronization Process Running Estimates AGENDA ARMY DOCTRINE
PUBLICATION (ADP) https://rdl.train.army.mil/catalog/go/100.ATSC/46BBB965-286D-4642-83BE-A4EE1CE42B46-1308623627080 https://atn.army.mil/dsp_template.aspx?dpID=232 (CAC login required) http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/bm~doc/military-decision-making-.ppt Presentation created on prezi.com Army Publication Doctrine
Overview of Planning Methodology
Process / Steps
Detailed MDMP
Time Constrained Environment
References - Doctrine 2015, overarching plan to revise our publications, "clear, concise, current and accessible"
- ADP, ADRP (Reference), ADTP (Technical), ATP (Techniques) ADP Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4fqV5bmouA#! Intelligence estimate, which should mirror the higher headquarters’ S–2 estimate.
Supported unit and sustainment unit combat power and maintenance posture.
Supported unit supply status for all classes of supply.
Sustainment unit supply status of direct support stocks.
Supported unit and sustainment unit personnel status.
Estimated requirements for all classes of supply needed for the supported unit to execute the mission.
Casualty estimate for the operation applied in time and space. Examples: STEP 3:


B-73. A COA is a broad potential solution to an identified problem. The COA development step generates options for follow-on analysis and comparison that satisfy the commander’s intent and planning guidance.

During COA development, planners use the problem statement, mission statement, commander’s intent, planning guidance, and the various knowledge products developed during mission analysis to develop COAs. STEP 1
STEP 7 33 substeps
98 substeps
109 substeps
93 substeps 12 substeps
27 substeps
5 substeps 377 total MDMP steps Many, many:
meetings, brain storming sessions, products, sketches, terrain boards, WARNOs, appendices, briefings, and man hours! Example of complexity: B-74. Embedded in COA development is the application of operational and tactical art. Planners develop different COAs by varying combinations of the elements of operational design such as phasing, lines of effort, and tempo. (See FM 3-0.) The approved COA is converted into the concept of operations.

B-75. The commander’s direct involvement in COA development greatly aids in producing comprehensive and flexible COAs within the available time. To save time, the commander may also limit the number of COAs to be developed or specify particular COAs not to explore. Each prospective COA is examined for validity using the following screening criteria:

Feasible. The COA can accomplish the mission within the established time, space, and resource limitations.

Acceptable. The COA must balance cost and risk with the advantage gained.

Suitable. The COA can accomplish the mission within the commander’s intent and planning guidance.

Distinguishable. Each COA must differ significantly from the others (such as scheme or form of maneuver, lines of effort, phasing, day or night operations, use of the reserve, and task organization).

Complete. A COA must incorporate—

How the decisive operation leads to mission accomplishment.
How shaping operations create and preserve conditions for success of the decisive operation or effort.
How sustaining operations enable shaping and decisive operations or efforts.
How offensive, defensive, and stability or civil support tasks are accounted for.
Tasks to be performed and conditions to be achieved. B-76. A good COA positions the force for sequels and provides flexibility to meet unforeseen events during execution. It also gives subordinates the maximum latitude for initiative. During COA development, the commander and staff continue risk assessment, focus on identifying and assessing hazards to mission accomplishment, and incorporate proposed controls to mitigate them into COAs. The staff also continues to revise IPB products, emphasizing event templates. During COA development, commanders and staffs perform the process actions and produce the outputs shown in figure B-3.
Note: If design precedes or is conducted in parallel with the MDMP, the updated design concept provides an overarching structure COA development.

Assess Relative Combat Power
B-77. Combat power is the total means of destructive, constructive, and information capabilities that a military unit/formation can apply at a given time. Army forces generate combat power by converting potential into effective action (FM 3-0). Combat power is the effect created by combining the elements of intelligence, movement and maneuver, fires, sustainment, protection, command and control, information and leadership. The goal is to generate overwhelming combat power to accomplish the mission at minimal
B-78. To assess relative combat power, planners initially make a rough estimate of force ratios of maneuver units two levels down. For example, at division level, planners compare all types of maneuver battalions with enemy maneuver battalion equivalents. Planners then compare friendly strengths against enemy weaknesses, and vice versa, for each element of combat power. From these comparisons, they may deduce particular vulnerabilities for each force that may be exploited or may need protection. These comparisons provide planners insight into effective force employment.
B-79. For stability and civil support operations, staffs often determine relative combat power by comparing available resources to specified or implied stability or civil support tasks. This is known as troop-to-task analysis. This analysis provides insight as to what options are available and whether more resources are required. In such operations, the elements of sustainment, movement and maneuver, nonlethal effects, and information may dominate. B-80. By analyzing force ratios and determining and comparing each force’s strengths and weaknesses as a function of combat power, planners can gain insight into—

Friendly capabilities that pertain to the operation.
The types of operations possible from both friendly and enemy perspectives.
How and where the enemy may be vulnerable.
How and where friendly forces are vulnerable.
Additional resources that may be required to execute the mission.
How to allocate existing resources.

B-81. Planners must not develop and recommend COAs based solely on mathematical analysis of force ratios. Although some numerical relationships are used in the process, the estimate is largely subjective. Assessing combat power requires assessing both tangible and intangible factors, such as morale and levels of training. A relative combat power assessment identifies enemy weaknesses that can be exploited, identifies friendly weaknesses that require protection, and determines the combat power necessary to conduct essential stability or civil support tasks

Generate Options
B-82. Based on the commander’s guidance and the initial results of the relative combat power assessment, the staff generates options. A good COA can defeat all feasible enemy COAs while accounting for essential stability tasks. In an unconstrained environment, the goal is to develop several possible COAs. Time dependent, commanders may limit the options in the commander’s guidance. Options focus on enemy COAs arranged in order of their probable adoption or on those stability tasks that are most essential to prevent the situation from deteriorating further.

B-83. Brainstorming is the preferred technique for generating options. It requires time, imagination, and creativity, but it produces the widest range of choices. The staff (and members of organizations outside the headquarters) must be unbiased and open-minded when developing proposed options.

B-84. In developing COAs, staff members determine the doctrinal requirements for each type of operation being considered, including doctrinal tasks for subordinate units. For example, a deliberate breach requires a breach force, a support force, and an assault force. Essential stability tasks require the ability to provide a level of civil security, civil control, and certain essential services. In addition, the staff considers the potential capabilities of attachments and other organizations and agencies outside military channels.

B-85. When generating options, the staff starts with the decisive operation identified in the commander’s planning guidance. The staff checks that the decisive operation nests within the higher headquarters’ concept of operations. The staff clarifies the decisive operation’s purpose and considers ways to mass the effects (lethal and nonlethal) of overwhelming combat power to achieve it.

B-86. Next, the staff considers shaping operations. The staff establishes a purpose for each shaping operation tied to creating or preserving a condition for the decisive operation’s success. Shaping operations may occur before, concurrently with, or after the decisive operation. A shaping operation may be designated as the main effort if executed before or after the decisive operation.
B-87. The staff then determines sustaining operations necessary to create and maintain the combat power required for the decisive operation and shaping operations. After developing the basic operational organization for a given COA, the staff then determines the essential tasks for each decisive, shaping, and sustaining operation.
B-88. Once staff members have explored possibilities for each COA, they examine each COA to determine if it satisfies the screening criteria stated in paragraph B-75. In doing so, they change, add, or eliminate COAs as appropriate. During this process, staffs must avoid the common pitfall of focusing on the development of one good COA among several throwaway COAs. Array Forces
B-89. After determining the decisive and shaping operations and their related tasks and purposes, planners determine the relative combat power required to accomplish each task. To do this, planners may use minimum historical planning ratios shown in table B-1 as a starting point. For example, historically defenders have over a 50 percent probability of defeating an attacking force approximately three times their equivalent strength. Therefore, as a starting point, commanders may defend on each avenue of approach with roughly a 1:3 force ratio.

B-90. Planners determine whether these and other intangibles increase the relative combat power of the unit assigned the task to the point that it exceeds the historical planning ratio for that task. If it does not, planners determine how to reinforce the unit. Combat power comparisons are provisional at best. Arraying forces is tricky, inexact work. It is affected by factors that are difficult to gauge, such as impact of past engagements, the quality of leaders, morale, maintenance of equipment, and time in position. It is also affected by levels of electronic warfare support, fire support, close air support, and civilian support, among many other factors.

B-91. In counterinsurgency operations, planners can develop force requirements by gauging troop density—the ratio of security forces (including host-nation military and police forces as well as foreign counterinsurgents) to inhabitants. Most density recommendations fall within a range of 20 to 25 counterinsurgents for every 1,000 residents in an AO. Twenty counterinsurgents per 1,000 residents are often considered the minimum troop density required for effective counterinsurgency operations; however, as with any fixed ratio, such calculations strongly depend on the situation. (See FM 3-24.)

B-92. Planners also determine relative combat power with regard to civilian requirements and conditions that require attention and then array forces and capabilities for stability tasks. For example, a COA may require a follow-on force to establish civil security, maintain civil control, and restore essential services in a densely populated urban area over an extended period. Planners conduct a troop-to-task analysis to determine the type of units and capabilities to accomplish these tasks.

B-93. Planners then proceed to initially array friendly forces starting with the decisive operation and continuing with all shaping and sustaining operations. Planners normally array ground forces two levels down. The initial array focuses on generic ground maneuver units without regard to specific type or task organization and then considers all appropriate intangible factors. For example, at corps level, planners array generic brigades. During this step, planners do not assign missions to specific units; they only consider which forces are necessary to accomplish its task. In this step, planners also array assets to accomplish essential stability tasks.

B-94. The initial array identifies the total number of units needed and identifies possible methods of dealing with the enemy and stability tasks. If the number arrayed is less than the number available, planners place additional units in a pool for use during the develop a concept step. If the number of units arrayed exceeds the number available and the difference cannot be compensated for with intangible factors, the staff determines whether the COA is feasible. Ways to make up the shortfall include requesting additional resources, accepting risk in that portion of the AO, or executing tasks required for the COA sequentially rather than simultaneously. Commanders should also consider requirements to minimize and relieve civilian suffering. Establishing civil security and providing essential services such as medical care, food and water, and shelter are implied tasks for commanders during any combat operation. See FM 3-07 for a full discussion on stability tasks. CONCLUSION MDMP is a detailed, thorough process
Great value in complex (or simple) military scenarios
It is not perfect and can be upgraded (example)
MDMP is our current decisionmaking process; understanding the steps, understanding the staff roles, and applying the process effectively is key to success MDMP is for Battalions and Above! 1 2 3 4 5
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